"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
- Abraham Lincoln
Before you can dream up and set out to accomplish what you desire most as a long term goal, you have to start by defining your values and beliefs.
Values are how you set your standard for what you define as good vs bad, beautiful vs ugly, and the thing you strive for vs avoid. They are your passion and purpose, the words you live by. It’s how you talk your talk.
Tips to Define Your Values:
1️⃣ Identify and write down all the people who have impacted you in your life, those you respect, and those you love.
2️⃣ Make a list of the qualities that you admire most about each person.
3️⃣ Circle all the characteristics, behaviors, and actions that you would like to emulate.
4️⃣ Identify your top four to five qualities.
*These top four or five qualities represent your core values.
Beliefs are your actions, they are the things you do that validate your core values be it how you act each day or what takes priority when faced with difficult decisions. Beliefs are the habits that reflect your values. It’s how you walk your walk.
Tips to Identify Your Beliefs
1️⃣ Think of and write down times in your life when you lived up to your values. This includes times when you stood up for someone or for something, peak experiences, and moments of failure.
2️⃣ Think about the little things you do each day to either live up to these values or not.
3️⃣ It’s important to ask those you trust to critique you as well. So take time to reach out to people you trust and value and ask them how they see you as an athlete and as a person.
Defining your values and creating habits that solidify your beliefs allow you to act with integrity. Once you are able to act with integrity, you will have a clearer picture of how to create and work toward accomplishing your goals.
In the end, how you talk your talk and walk your walk determines your priorities, provides you with meaning, and it serves as your inspiration when you are faced with adversity.